Dalkeith Facey, DO, General Surgeon, from Massena Memorial Hospital was the Keynote Speaker at the Terra Science and Education Fair at SUNY Potsdam on March 30, 2019. Dr. Facey shared his journey to where he is today with middle and high school students from the surrounding areas. He hopes his story will inspire these young students and encourage them to never give up on their goals, even though they may face challenges along the way.
Dr. Facey’s road to becoming a General Surgeon was not perfect, as he pursued various career paths along the way. When he was in high school in Jamaica, Dr. Facey chose to attend a technical school to study mechanical engineering. After being named second in his class during his first year, Dr. Facey set out to become first. He achieved this goal and was even selected from 200 candidates to be one of four aircraft engineers for Air Jamaica upon graduating.
Although Dr. Facey had this opportunity, he decided to come to the United States instead. Upon arriving in America, he started out as a forklift operator. He later joined the United States Air Force as a Medical Technologist and earned a degree in Chemistry. He then became a Chemistry Teacher, and eventually started working in pharmaceutical sales. As grateful as Dr. Facey is for all of these experiences, they were all just “jobs” for him. He was not confident that he was where he wanted to be.
Dr. Facey said, “Medicine was always my first love, even though I wasn’t pursuing it.” After working in pharmaceutical sales, he finally decided to go to medical school. He applied to many schools before being accepted into New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Facey found out how challenging medical school is but graduated and chose to become a Surgeon. He completed his Surgical Residency at St. Barnabas in the Bronx, graduated, and then chose to move to Virginia to practice while specializing in Laparoscopic Surgery.
Dr. Facey has now been a part of Massena Memorial Hospital’s Team for three years and helped implement the Robotic Surgery Program here. Dr. Facey said, “Two years ago, MMH decided to branch into Robotic Surgery, and I jumped at this idea.” The daVinci Surgical System is highly advanced and has many benefits over traditional surgeries. Dr. Facey explained, “Benefits of Robotic Surgery include High 3-D Resolution, more precise movements, reduced operating times, fewer and smaller surgical scars, less pain, significant decrease in the risk of complications, and quicker recovery times.” Dr. Facey is finally doing what he loves and has performed 115 daVinci surgeries at MMH since November 2017.
During his speech, Dr. Facey extended the following advice to individuals of all ages: “Whatever your career path is, make sure you enjoy it. Your journey to your career will not be perfect, but you will get there if you persevere.” Dr. Facey is so humbled to have made it to where he is today, and he is using his surgical skills to give back. Each year, Dr. Facey joins Northern New York Hope for Haiti Surgical Team, and travels across the world to perform free surgical operations, as well as to donate toys, clothes and shoes to schools and children in need. Dr. Facey said, “I look forward to doing this. I believe that if you have a skill, you should give back.”